A vehicle's speed can make it more hazardous. The driver has less time to respond to a roadway obstacle. They must also travel farther before they can make an emergency stop than they would at slow speeds. For these reasons, drivers follow posted speed limits.
However, speed does not always correlate with danger. Even in extremely slow traffic, drivers face the risk of an accident. Rush hour can be especially threatening as Washington residents flow in and out of Seattle for work.
Seattle is now the ninth most congested city in America. Drivers will spend an average of 55 hours per year in slow-moving traffic, which provides plenty of chances for suffering an accident.
In rush hour traffic, drivers may be distracted, fatigued or aggressive. Some commuters will use the slowness of stop-and-go traffic to check their emails and apply makeup. These distractions can easily cause an accident if the driver doesn't realize that the vehicle ahead of them is stopping quickly. Slow traffic is a prime setup for rear-end crashes.
Impatience is a major factor in rush hour crashes. Commuters who are running late for work might take every opportunity they can to get ahead of the crowd - even if that means cutting off another vehicle. Too often, a hurried driver tries to save time with risky maneuvers. If they were to crash, they would spend much more time than they would have saved with the added offense of hurting someone else.
The good news is that crashes at slow speeds usually cause fewer injuries and less serious damage. In fact, there's more good news; victims of negligent drivers may be able to find reparations for their pain in court. A crash does not have to be life-threatening to be serious enough for a lawsuit. If another driver acted wrongly, they are at least partially responsible for the damage.